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Arsenal See Off Sorry Man Utd To Take Control Of Top-Four Battle

Channels Television  
Updated April 23, 2022
Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (L) celebrates with Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (R) after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

 

Arsenal took control of the battle to finish in the Premier League top four with a 3-1 win over Manchester United to all but end the Red Devils’ hopes of Champions League football next season.

Nuno Tavares, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka struck for Mikel Arteta’s men to move them three points clear of Tottenham, who face Brentford later on Saturday.

Sixth-placed United are six points adrift of the top four and could miss out on European football completely next season.

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Ian Kington / IKIMAGES / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 22nd goal of the season on his return to the United side after missing Tuesday’s 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool due to the death of his newborn son.

However, Ronaldo will regret letting Bruno Fernandes take a second-half penalty with the game finely poised at 2-1 to the Gunners.

Interim United boss Ralf Rangnick described his side’s display at Anfield as “humiliating” and “embarrassing”.

United reacted to that defeat by formalising the appointment of Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as the man to take charge at Old Trafford from next season.

However, the Dutchman will not have been impressed by another shambolic start from the side he will inherit.

 

Arsenal’s German-born Portuguese defender Cedric Soares (L) vies with Manchester United’s English striker Jadon Sancho (C) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Harry Maguire was dropped to the bench after a traumatic week.

The England international’s house was searched by police after receiving a bomb threat.

Maguire has been the target for much of the criticism directed at United this season, but the defence was no better in his absence.

It took just two minutes for the visitors’ to be breached as David de Gea’s fine save from Saka’s initial effort counted for nothing as Tavares swept home the rebound.

There was another show of support for Ronaldo as just as at Anfield in midweek the entire stadium applauded during the seventh minute.

 

Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Gabriel (C) wins a header during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Ian Kington / IKIMAGES / AFP)

 

Arsenal’s Brazilian striker Gabriel Martinelli (L) vies with Manchester United’s Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

 

On the field, the Portuguese was receiving little help from his teammates.

De Gea stood up well to parry a piledriver from Eddie Nketiah from close range.

Seconds later, Nketiah found the net from another one-on-one.

A VAR review found the England under-21 international offside, but Saka was fouled by Alex Telles as he played the ball into Nketiah’s path.

 

Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (C) shoots to score but after a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) review Arsenal are granted a penalty for a foul in the build-up during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Ian Kington / IKIMAGES / AFP) 

 

Saka took responsibility to send De Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot to double Arsenal’s lead.

Ronaldo hit back within two minutes as he swept home Nemanja Matic’s cross for his 100th Premier League goal.

 

Arsenal’s Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares (R) vies with Manchester United’s Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot (L) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

Arsenal’s German-born Portuguese defender Cedric Soares (L) vies with Manchester United’s English striker Jadon Sancho (C) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

 

Arsenal’s nerves began to show and United should have been at least level by the time Xhaka fired home the final blow.

Tavares needlessly handled a corner into the Arsenal box on the hour.

Ronaldo stood aside to let Fernandes take the penalty, but his compatriot rolled the ball onto the post.

Moments later, Ronaldo had the ball in the net thanks to another smart, instinctive finish but was flagged offside.

Ronaldo then played provider for Diogo Dalot’s shot to be turned onto the post by Aaron Ramsdale.

Arsenal had lost three consecutive games prior to a much-needed 4-2 win at Chelsea in midweek revived their top-four ambitions.

 

Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) 

 

The relief around the Emirates was palpable when Xhaka restored the two-goal cushion with a powerful shot that flew past De Gea from 25 yards.